So you've followed one of our turkey recipes and have the golden beast in front of you. Now what? For many folks, the hardest part of cooking a turkey is carving and serving it. Depending on how you roasted the bird, the carving instructions will be a little different. Here's how you do it.
Stuffing is my favorite part of my favorite holiday, and even though it's fantastic cooked in the bird, baked in a casserole all on its own, or cooked in the slow cooker, there are ways to improve it, namely by giving it a crisper, browner crust to contrast that moist creamy center. Here are three unique methods to do just that.
The key to a successful Thanksgiving is planning. Know what needs to get done, when it needs to be done, and how much manpower and time it's going to take you. There's no better way to derail a calm evening by scrambling at the last minute to make sure your turkey is cooked through, or the gravy isn't burning. There are many theories as to when to prep each individual item, but here's my own schedule of events, starting the week before Thanksgiving.
The Splashproof Thermapen is an indispensible tool for anyone who roasts meat, cooks steaks or chicken, barbecues, makes candy, or deep fries, but at nearly $100, it ain't cheap. Enter the ThermoPop, the new, $29 digital thermometer from the makers of the Thermapen.
When I first started taking and answering questions for Thanksgiving a few years ago, I figured at most there'd be a few dozen. We're up to several hundred and counting, and every year we get more and more. This year's batch have focused heavily on sous-vide cooking and vegan/vegetarian options, both subjects close to my heart!
Brining or dry-brining your bird can mean the difference between dry turkey and supremely moist and plump turkey. Over the years I've written many articles on brining (or not brining) turkeys; here's the basics in one simple guide.
The Food Lab: Introducing Vegetables Wellington, the Plant-Based Vegan Roast Even Meat Eaters Will Want
Coming up with a vegan holiday roast is a daunting task! It can't just take the place of the turkey or the prime rib nutritionally, it's got to cover all of those mental bases as well. Not only does it have to taste spectacular, but it's got to look stunning at the center of the table, with rich, deep flavors that scream fall and winter. What I ended up with was a vegan roast that is so pretty, so mouth-watering, so packed with flavor and texture that even the hardcore carnivores at the table will want to make room on their plate for a slice, perhaps even instead of that turkey. I call it Vegetables Wellington.
I love eating salads, but I'm way more likely to do it if there's a great vinaigrette ready and waiting in my fridge. Enter the OXO Good Grips Salad Dressing Shaker, a neat little gadget designed to let you measure, mix, store, emulsify, and dispense dressing at moments notice. This is the kind of tool which makes me eat more salad, and I kinda like that.
Simmering potatoes in heavily salted water until the water runs completely dry gives them extremely fragile, wrinkled skins that crisp up when subsequently roasted in a hot oven. The result: extra-crispy new potatoes with a buttery, herb-flecked crust.
So you've seen our spatchcock turkey and you're intrigued by the promise of extra-crisp skin and ultra-moist meat, all in about 90 minutes...but you want it to pack just a little more punch. This version's got all of the same crisp skin and juicy meat as the original recipe, but with a flavor-packed herb butter to coat it.
There aren't too many things that a slow cooker can do better than the old-fashioned stovetop. The big exception? Stuffing. Cooked in a slow cooker, stuffing comes out more moist and tender than you've ever tasted, with a crisp brown crust to boot.
Sous-vide is a fantastic method for cooking holiday roasts. It delivers reliable moist and tender results, frees up your oven for other tasks, requires almost no supervision while cooking, and is very easy to hold hot and ready to serve until your guests are ready. That said, sous vide turkey comes with a few problems. We've solved the issues to give you a recipe that produces turkey cooked exactly how you like it, with deep roasty flavors and extra-crispy skin to boot.
The only time of the year I ever feel like eating pie is in the fall, and nine times out of ten, that pie I'm craving is apple. So I don't want just any apple pie. If I'm going to eat it, it had better be the best darned homemade apple pie around. Fortunately, with years of testing, pages of notes, and thousands of words worth of summarizing under my belt, I have a recipe that delivers just that.
We all know by this stage that spatchcocking is the fastest and easiest way to roast turkey. The only downside is that you don't get to deliver that grand Norman Rockwell-style whole bird to the table. Here's how to keep your turkey easy to manage and fully intact while still producing a beautifully burnished, deep brown bird with evenly cooked, juicy meat to boot.
Stocking Your Pantry for Thanksgiving? Our Simple Printable Checklist of Essentials Is Here to Help!
Here's a quick check list of all the non-perishable goods you should have on hand to make sure that your Thanksgiving goes off without a hitch. To make it easier for you, we've made a super simple checklist that you can print out.
Toasting nuts is not terribly difficult, but it can take a bit of time to do it right. Want to get to superior end results in record time? Easy: just turn to the microwave. Here's how to do it.
I love a crisp sautéed green bean or a fresh and crunchy green bean salad as much as anyone, but there's a time and a place for everything, and I'd like to make the case for tender braised green beans. Let's bust out of this al dente prison we're stuck in now, shall we?
Have you ever wondered why sweet potatoes are so darn insecure? It's time to say good bye to the days of sweet potatoes having to hide behind a mask of sugar and bolted-on marshmallows. What we have here is a technique for making mashed sweet potatoes that are so sweet, rich, and packed with sweet potato flavor, they need only the simplest of embellishments to shine.
Leftover lasagna is never as good as when it's fresh out of the oven. So what's the best way to reheat it? Slice it into slabs and fry them on their side for extra-crispy edges and gooey, cheesy centers.
I find the process of making lasagna extremely relaxing. I love working on the sauces and fillings and carefully assembling them all in a casserole dish before baking. Today we're going to look one of the classics. Creamy, cheesy, spinach lasagna flavored with a hint of nutmeg and a combination of white sauce and fresh ricotta. And while I'll often opt for the ease and convenience of no-boil lasagna noodles, today we're going to go all-in with store-bought fresh pasta.
In the past, I've gone on record saying that spatchcocking your turkey is the fastest, easiest, most foolproof way to a perfect Thanksgiving dinner. I still stand by those words 100%. There is no method that will get your crisper skin, juicier meat, or better gravy in less time. If you haven't roasted your turkey like this yet, now is the time to start.
This variation on steamed mussels draws inspiration from a classic French bouillabaisse flavored with fennel, saffron, and tomatoes. It cooks up in fifteen minutes and produces plenty of briny broth for bread-dipping.
There's a mysterious, myth-packed lore when it comes to cast iron pans. On the one hand there's the folks who claim you've got to treat your cast iron cookware like a delicate little flower. On the other, there's the macho types who chime in with their my cast iron is hella non-stick or goddam, does my pan heat evenly! In the world of cast iron, there are unfounded, untested claims left right and center. It's time to put a few of those myths to rest.
Unlike magazines or newspapers, internet articles have a good shelf life. This is good news for you. It means that within a few short clicks, you have years' worth of our hard-core testing and tasting results to help guide you through getting the best out of your Thanksgiving bird, whether it's your first or your fiftieth. We've tested techniques, busted myths, and got our hands dirty to bring you real results that actually work. Welcome to the official Serious Eats Guide to Turkeys.
It's no question that stuffing is the best thing on the Thanksgiving table. It's also no question that my Easy Pull-Apart Pepperoni Garlic Knots are the most stupidly delicious easy recipe I've come up with so far this year. So what happens when you take the idea of a pull-apart garlic knot and mix it up with the flavors of stuffing? A bit of Thanksgiving magic, that's what.
What kind of turkey should I buy? What size? How far in advance? And what the heck do I do with it once it's at home? All of these burning questions and more, straight ahead.
Here's one late night sandwich that isn't a greasebomb. Good for lunch as well.
A few months ago, my wife and I spent all of 24 hours in Naples on our way home from Sicily. It was probably the second-most pizza-packed 24 hours of my life (the first being when I took my Colombian brother-in-law on a whirlwind pizza tour of New York). We hit over a half dozen pizzerias over lunch alone, and a few more for dinner. Here now, I present to you the Serious Eats guide to Eating Pizza in Naples.
Ever made a traditional Peking duck? Turns out it's a pretty involved process, requiring not only multiple steps but multiple days, cooking apparatuses, and spices. The end result: an incredibly crispy, juicy bird that's seriously delicious. Come along with Serious Eats's own Carey Jones as she learns how to make Peking Duck. Chef Brian Ray of Buddakan gives us the grand tour.
We're looking at what I like to call the "Big 3" of Cheerios: Original, Honey Nut and MultiGrain. Any die-hard original Cheerios fans out there? Can we talk about the awesomeness of Honey Nut and MultiGrain?
Last week, we examined the distinction between single malt and blended Scotch whiskies. Today, we'll step back a bit and take a more detailed (much more detailed) look at the single malt. I'll describe what single malts are, explain how they're made and aged, discuss the concept of Scotch terroir, and explore some of the regional variations. Grab a tasting glass and let's get started!
Uh oh. The buzzer rings. Friends are coming over to spread holiday cheer and you panic. Serve frozen dumplings...again?! You can do better than that. Print out this list of easy-to-assemble, stress-free, mostly-sub-20-minutes-to-prepare munchies and paste it to the fridge. Here are 60+ dips, hors d'oeuvres, small bites, toasty snacks, sweet nibbles, appetizers, and more festive munchies to prepare in a snap.
The Serious Eats Cookie Swap has become an annual tradition. We break out the Duane Reade tinsel and twinkle lights, and are forced to do a major office detox to make room for cookies. Many, many cookies. (OK, maybe a dozen doughnuts snuck in this year too). It was our third year swapping, and as per tradition, the tables were covered with butter-laden treats. Our NYC-based contributors really pulled out their ninja baking skills. Get all the recipes here.
Our recipe for Bacon Banh Mi brings our favorite Vietnamese sandwich home, swapping out the usual array of cold cuts and charcuterie for bacon but staying true to the other elements that make this sandwich so balanced and irresistible.
When you think about Thanksgiving and you think about various elements of the Thanksgiving meal, it seems like you're just waiting through the big meal to get to the pie. I really believe this, which is why I always fantasized about an all-pie Thanksgiving. (Anyone with me on this?) At an editorial meeting about a month ago, we were at the office talking about Thanksgiving coverage and I shared this fantasy with the team. Knowing how much I adore and obsess over pie, the Serious Eats editors weren't too shocked, so we did the only thing we know how to do: make it happen.
Urban legend has it that some industrial candy snafu botched the names of 3 Musketeers and Milky Way. The tale has a certain logic. 3 Musketeers doesn't have three ingredients but Milky Way does. And the very name Milky Way recalls the smooth, uninterrupted creaminess found in 3 Musketeers. Those kinds of wonky urban legends ran amok in the eighties, but we have the internet now, so let's clear this stuff up. It's not a tasty tabloid tale of "Switched at Birth!" but rather "Murder, She Wrote."
When you first joined me in my quest to unlock the secrets of culinary time travel, I told you it would take equal parts science and magic to make the foods that could power the flux capacitor of the mind. I said, "leave the DeLorean in the garage, preheat your oven to one point twenty one gigawatts, and rev that Kitchen Aid to eighty eight mph. We're going back to the Eighties." And we did. But while there, what if some careless action altered our timeline? Could we, like Marty McFly, inadvertently create an alternate universe? One where the Keebler Soft Batch Cookie tastes freaking delicious? Friends, this isn't speculation. I have done such a thing.
Dried mango was matched up with cilantro, garlic, and jalapeno to make this juicy chicken link. It's bright, fresh, and fruity.
[Photograph: Kenji Alt] Want more details? Here are the ins-n-outs. Follow Kenji on Facebook or Twitter....
This week we survived a salt and vinegar chips tasting (try feeling your tongue after one of those!), played fetch with Hambone, special-ordered the semi-discontinued Rice Krispies Treats Cereal, and more. And if you're wondering, yes, RKTC would be RK cereal that turned into treats then transformed back into cereal again (full circle!).
This week at Serious Eats World Headquarters, we ate loads of chocolate sandwich cookies for our Oreo/Faux-reo taste test, filled up our office with Sandwich Festival goods, watched Ed attempt to feed Hambone, and more (and by "more" we mean "Hambone Hambone Hambone").
I'm not sure how else to break this except to just come out and say it. On Wednesday morning, my French bulldog Dumpling was struck by a bus outside of my apartment building. He died in my arms on the way to the emergency room.
This week at Serious Eats World Headquarters, Dumpling napped and drooled, a swarm of bees took shelter in a nearby mailbox, I confirmed I don't like absinthe, and a few of us met some cows (ok, that last one happened far, far away from SEHQ). The slideshow is 75 percent Dumpling in one way, 125 percent in another. Enjoy!
This "Memphis-style" is my favorite to make at home—it takes the aspects of sweet tomato-based sauces I grew up on, but by dialing back the sugar and amping up the vinegar, creates a sauce where seasonings and spice are more defined and achieves a pleasing balance between the main defining aspects of a barbecue sauce.
These are the only fancy-restaurant fried clams I think are really worth the cash ($14 half/$26 full). That they start with Ipswich bellies makes all the difference; these juicy, sweet, whole-belly behemoths are harvested from the mud flats off Ipswich, where experts claim that the particularly nutrient-rich soil gives the bivalves their superior, almost nutty flavor.
Sherbets and sorbets require a spoon, but they date back to the Persian Empire, when vividly flavored fruit- or flower-based syrups were mixed with snow to make a cool, refreshing drink called sharbat.
Last Thursday morning, Dean Sparks, a dairy farmer from upstate New York stopped by the office with some cheese, eggs, and milk. They come from nymilk, a New York state consortium of around 35 upstate organic dairy farms that...
As food aesthetics go, the murky, rust-brown, pebbly lalla musa dal at Tamarind Bay Coastal Kitchen can't compare to the restaurant's other specialties like the fennel cream-sauced cauliflower dumplings or the spiced lobster tail. But famed Indian chefs like Julie Sahni don't consider this dish "the most exquisite of all dal preparations" for nothing, and speaking in terms of decadence, it outclasses the rest by a long shot.
For all that I've grilled (150-plus recipes and counting), there's always plenty of uncharted territory. One of those areas: planking. There aren't usually many planking recipes in cookbooks, save the ubiquitous planked salmon. Put simply, planking is cooking food directly on a piece of hardwood. When cooking this way, the surface of the food touching the wood picks up some of the plank's natural flavors.
I don't use the word magical lightly, but there really is something wondrous about making bagels at home. Maybe it's the shape. I think most everyone understands a loaf of bread, but the round shape with a hole ... well, it seems like a whole lot more work than simply plopping some dough in a loaf pan. But it's not. Really. Try making just one batch of these, and I'm sure you'll have the process down pat. Put on your sorcerer's robe and follow along!